Halloween stores succeeding amid pandemic

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While the pandemic has forced many businesses to close, Spirit Halloween in Orem has seen steady business leading up to Halloween. (Whitney Bigelow)

Halloween stores in Utah County have still seen sales this season even as many businesses are forced to close during COVID-19.

Many Utah residents are still undecided about whether or not they will be celebrating Halloween with their children as usual, as trick-or-treating around others may present a public health risk. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert issued guidelines at the beginning of October for a “safe Halloween,” asking parents to make sure their children wear masks and social distance while celebrating.

Whatever decisions individual families make about Halloween this year, the results affect Utah County pop-up Halloween stores. At Spirit Halloween in Orem, however, employees were surprised at the number of customers they’ve received.

“I’ve hit over my goal over in sales every week,” said Lindsay Beckstrom, manager of the Orem location. “I didn’t think that we could get this busy, but we did. We can barely keep our shelves stocked.”

Beckstrom said she was happy for the unexpected support; her store has outsold every other Spirit Halloween location in Utah County. She added that Spirit Halloween is following proper safety procedures. These include a mask requirement inside the store, making hand sanitizer readily available, but sometimes Beckstrom has to keep the children from touching things.

“There’s no reason we should stop a holiday,” she said. “If people are worried about getting sick, then they can wear gloves to get candy.”

This hasn’t been the case for every Halloween chain; Party City’s pop-up Halloween City greatly reduced its number of stores this year, and the ones in Utah never reopened this season.

When asked why she thought Orem Spirit Halloween was receiving an influx of customers, Beckstrom answered, “I think we need to get back to normalcy, to live our lives, and do everyday, fun things with our kids. There are so many people here because everyone wants to get on with life.”

The popular party store Zurcher’s has also been doing well according to Kyle Zurcher, who works in the company’s corporate office.

“It’s a Saturday Halloween, which is always big, so (it) will be very busy for us,” Zurcher said. “People love celebrating holidays so we’re very optimistic that it’s going to be a good Halloween.”

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